Moving a mountain of debt

A Christian Science perspective: A fresh look at overcoming debt.

A lot of people are worrying about money right now, and everyone may have his or her own strategy. Some focus on the income side of the issue and maybe take a second job. Others look more at curbing expenses. My victory over debt took a different route – one that was different from either track.

Years of struggling to catch up with expenses had taught me a lot, but I still found that my outgo was more than my income. Like others, I examined my income and considered how to increase it. And then I looked at expenses and tried to cut those down too. But neither system worked.

Then one day I got a really clear insight that the problem wasn’t how to solve an economics puzzle but how to think of my life in more spiritual terms. In other words, instead of thinking in material terms about my income and expenses, I needed to do a better job of accepting the love that God had for me, and then do a better job of sharing that love and witnessing it in my world. It took me a while to figure all this out, but through it all I managed to keep afloat – and then swim stronger as I better understood God’s will for me.

Economic needs, like emotional and health ones, are answered as we discover more of who each one of us is as God’s creation, as His dear people cared for in this life with Him. There’s a line in a psalm that states, “Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture” (100:3). Particularly in light of my experience, that psalm has profound meaning for me.

During my financial woes, I thought I was responsible for choosing my purpose and that life would reward me accordingly. But this wasn’t keeping me afloat. When I looked at life from a more spiritual standpoint, I understood that God had made me – and everyone – as the expression of His goodness, designed to show forth His divine qualities and share them with the world. This understanding changed my life. It became an indispensable guide for the choices I made, and it opened up a life of more good for me and for those around me.

Reaching this point of trusting more in God than in my own efforts to achieve success required a journey in humility. I had to yield to our Maker and to accept the glorious life that He has established for us, rather than carrying the burden of trying to make things work better on my own. I took a new perspective on life when I acknowledged God as the source of all good and as the Mind that governs and directs me and everyone. Embracing this view is life-transforming.

A better understanding of God means a lot more than just a new perspective that somehow magically wipes out debt or that brings us the means to buy things we’ve wanted. It moves us in such a way that we experience more of the divine Life, in which everyone is part of God’s great love.

From my experience, just looking to wipe out debt or to find the means to buy something, even with divine help, seems to leave us and those around us feeling like we fall short. Even if we’re not buying excessively, we may be still thinking our lives are defined by those things – and feeling cut off from our divine source.

But as we gain a fuller desire to receive the divine direction, or ideas, that God sends to move us forward in expressing Him, we find more of our God-given purpose. And that purpose has an important place in His universe, a place that’s sustained with everything we need and more.

That is what I found. And I reached this understanding with plenty of help from the Bible, as well as the writings of Mary Baker Eddy. From her personal experience, she could write with confidence, “God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 307).

Good ideas move mountains, including mountains of debt. They reveal more of the ability or intelligence that God has put into His creation. And so, when we receive His ideas, we experience more of life as that expression of divine Love. As we live a life in which we and those around us can more widely appreciate God’s goodness, we begin to see how the spiritual solution for debt is the basis for lasting economic solutions everywhere.

Erasing debt is a collective thing. The victory is a flow of good that individuals feel and that’s amplified for everyone around them – in organizations, society at large, and entire nations.

For a Spanish translation of this article, see The Herald of Christian Science.

To receive Christian Science articles weekly, click here.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.